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Is Brisbane Really So Ugly? Author and philosopher, Alain de Botton, has used Brisbane as an example of one of the ugly cities of the world. He cites it as the result of poor planning restrictions (or a lack of planning) and says “everyone thinks Brisbane is a bit of a mess”. The argument that ‘no one can say what a beautiful building is’ is a gift to property developers who can do anything: http://t.co/XnyTjVWNWw — Alain de Botton (@alaindebotton) March 28, 2014 As someone who’s lived in Brisbane for a few decades, it got me thinking. Certainly we have our fair share of boring 70s concrete government buildings scattered throughout the CBD, and planning is not something our government excels at, but if you look at the city as a whole picture I really don’t think it’s as horrible as he makes out. Sure, being a relatively young city (on a world scale) we don’t have the classic architecture you might find in the romantic European cities of old, but there is a certain beauty to be found. This is especially true once the sun sets, and the city takes on a very different look. Below are photos that I have taken over the past few years in Brisbane. Beauty is always subjective, but I’d urge you to look at all the photos below and tell me that Brisbane really is so ugly. (Click the thumbnails to view larger) What do you think? Leave a comment below with your...

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You may or may not be aware, but Aussies love things to be BIG. There are hundreds of giant roadside attractions throughout the country; I’ve even written about some before. I never would’ve thought that one would disappear in the middle of the night, but it seems that’s exactly what happened in the early hours of this morning! The internet is abuzz with the news – apparently someone made a visit in the middle of the night with a mobile crane, and stole the 10 tonne, 12-year-old giant mango. To what ends? I don’t know. But I’m actually quite surprised that anyone questioned it. It seems like the sort of activity that would fly under the radar, with most people assuming it had been removed for repairs. Let’s hope this isn’t the start of a spate of “big things” abductions! [Read more at...

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I’ve just had another article published on News.com.au – this one’s just as entertaining as the last one. I’ve heard a few “out there” stories about things happening at car rental agencies – weird things left behind in cars, strange customers, and dodgy dealings. I decided to investigate further and found out some really odd stuff… [Read the article...

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Valentines Day is just around the corner, but it can be hard to find a gift for the person that has everything. We’ve rounded up 10 ideas for travel-related valentines gifts. They’ll be sure to keep you in the good books! Smittens – Be closer to your loved-one or friend by holding hands inside a single, oversized mitten! Featuring cozy, warm and durable Polartec fleece, Smittens are perfect for long romantic walks, keeping you and your partner warm during chilly winter outings, no matter where in the world you are. Travel Smart Heart Lock – This TSA recognised lock features a sturdy construction and resettable lock combination. Perfect for securing your luggage or backpack whilst travelling. Bear Grylls Survival Kit – Designed for survival in the most extreme conditions, the Bear Grylls ultimate survival pack from Gerber is the all-weather workhorse of the Bear Grylls survival line. It features an easily pocketable multitool with 12 components, Gerber’s Tempo flashlight, a fire starter rod, and a textured plastic sheath for durable yet convenient storage. Perfect for those camping trips or if you’re venturing into the outback. Speaking of flashlights, LED flashlights are another great gift. Luggage Scales – Avoid being stung by excess baggage fees by using these compact luggage scales. Simply clip the EatSmart buckle to the handle of a suitcase or bag. EatSmart’s proprietary two handed SmartGrip design allows for easier lifting of even the heaviest bags. Lift the bag and the scale will beep when the weight has been determined and appear in the large backlit LCD. The scale is compact, lightweight and durable so you can take it along for the return journey! Bose QuietComfort 15 – Perfect for blocking out airplane engine noise or screaming children, these are the best Bose headphones, period. QuietComfort 15 headphones feature exclusive Bose advancements in noise reduction technology. You hear less noise and more of your music and movies-with quality sound and a long-lasting comfortable fit. You won’t find this combination of benefits in any other headphone. Road Trip Soap – This soap was made with earth-loving, free-living, road-tripping people in mind. Its deep red color comes from natural French clay, which is used in holistic medicine as a skin purifier. Its rich...

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This is how to open a beer, Aussie style. Note the uniquely Australian safety footwear known as “thongs” or “pluggers”. (Don’t try this at...

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The year that’s been, and the year to come… I started Top 100 Experiences a year ago as a way to share my passion for travelling throughout this wonderful country, to showcase some of my travel photography and to express myself through some creative writing. More than that, I wanted Top 100 Experiences to become a useful travel resource for both domestic and international travellers. To create a truly comprehensive, useful and popular resource I invited people to share their Australian experiences – favourite places to go, things to see and do throughout Australia. It seems to be paying off, with site traffic increasing steadily over 12 months, with growth of 15% each and every month. At this rate, we should see 360,000 visits over the next 12 months. The site’s been getting some exposure recently, including an article on the front page of news.com.au (and associated sites like Herald Sun, Courier Mail etc). I’ve also met and chatted with plenty of amazing travel bloggers and hope to develop some great relationships with them over the year to come. What’s next? There are plenty of plans for Top 100 Experiences for the year ahead. Hopefully I’ll get to put most of them in place before the year is through! You’ll notice there’s a new Events Calendar on the right-hand sidebar, and soon you’ll be able to submit your own events to be added. We’ll also be adding some more “fun” articles, like the Australian Citizenship Test (keep an eye out for a video quite soon). And to top it all off, we’re working on some great giveaways to readers of the website, including free passes to many different experiences in Australia! Luke Chapman Luke started Top100Experiences.com.au to share his knowledge of the travel industry and his passion for Australia. Check out Luke’s Australian landscape photography & blog....

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